Tuesday June 25, 2019
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Survey: 61% of most polluted cities in India

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Various independent studies have revealed the extent of the harm caused by air pollution; it caused 3.2 million premature deaths in 2014 alone, and two-third of these deaths occurred in Europe, China and other rapidly developing countries of Asia.

delhi-pollution_660_050814010144Latest information compiled by Blueair, a global leader in mobile indoor air purification technologies, shows that air pollution is clearly linked to lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes and asthma, resulting in premature deaths every year in Europe, Asia and China.

A recent survey by the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that 13 of the most polluted 20 cities in the world, that is 61 per cent, are in India. According to the survey report, Delhi is the most polluted city in the world. The recent Environmental Preference Index has ranked India 174 out of 178 countries for air quality. It has become a leading cause of premature death in India, with about 620,000 people dying every year from pollution-related diseases, says the WHO.

According to World Bank’s latest economic evaluation, the cost of serious health consequences from particulate pollution in India is assessed at 3 per cent of its GDP and the total damage because of environmental degradation amounts to Rs 3.75 trillion (US $80 billion). This is equivalent to 5.7 per cent of the country’s GDP.

The latest number crunching by the World Bank is an eye-opener. Its evaluation of the damage to health from a gamut of environmental factors—including air pollution, inadequate water supply and poor sanitation—shows outdoor air pollution takes the maximum toll in India. This is followed by indoor air pollution.

The combined cost of outdoor and indoor air pollution is the highest annual burden on India’s economy. Outdoor air pollution accounts for 29 per cent, followed by indoor air pollution (23 per cent).

The higher cost of outdoor and indoor air pollution is driven by high exposure of the young and productive urban population to particulate matter pollution. That leads to higher rates of deaths due to cardiopulmonary and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases among adults.

“The big problem is that most people do not see air pollution as a major issue, unless you live in smog beset cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata or Chennai. Obesity and alcohol grab the headlines, yet people don’t realize the insidious danger posed by modern air pollution. Thanks to a toxic mix of diesel fumes, dust and chemicals, just taking a walk in a modern city is turning men, women and children into passive smokers,” Mr. Rittri, CEO and founder of Blueair, said.

Mr. Rittri added that for air pollution to be addressed effectively, national health authorities need to work harder to flag awareness about the problem and the potential to save lives and reduce health costs.

 

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Microsoft Ready to Help Indian Startups, Says President Anant Maheshwari

Microsoft is focused as much on selling third party solutions as their own, and this co-sell motion has helped generate $8 billion in revenue for partners within 18 months

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Armed with a cutting-edge technology platform, a well-established partner organisation and an expansion of M12 venture fund, Microsoft is ready to help Indian startups across the spectrum embrace the next phase of growth, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said here on Monday.

India, which saw a tremendous growth in the startup space in the last couple of years, is now witnessing a growth in the business-to-business (B2B) tech startups coming up with innovative ideas to deal with local problems.

“With our intelligent tech expertise, deep focus on trust and unique global go to market partnering, we empower unicorns and startups to scale sustainably at a global level,” said Maheshwari.

“We remain excited about India’s entrepreneurial startup potential and will continue to accelerate it as a growth engine for the economy,” he added.

India witnessed a dramatic rise of eight unicorns in 2018 from among the start-ups across verticals as against a mere nine in six years from 2011 till 2017, according to IT industry apex body Nasscom.

The start-ups joining the select club for their valuation over $1 billion are Oyo Rooms (hospitality), Zomato and Swiggy (food delivery), Udaan (retailer marketplace), Byju’s, (edu-tech), Paytm Mall (e-tail), Freshworks (software programmer) and Policybazaar (digital insurance).

Maheshwari said Microsoft is uniquely positioned to support Indian startups to achieve scale and evolve from market ready to enterprise ready.

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A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

The introduction of M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, in India in February is creating new value for startups, VCs and the company itself to maintain the pace and direction of innovation.

“M12 is looking at investing in innovators who have aligned their focus on cutting-edge technologies that better enable digital transformation. The portfolio development team at M12 is specifically built to help support and scale companies by leveraging the expansive resources of Microsoft,” said the company.

According to reports, venture capital investments in Indian tech business-to-business (B2B) start-ups have been trending upwards, with over $3.09 billion raised in equity funding across 415 deals in 2018 — 28 per cent more than $2.41 billion in 2017.

Also Read: Facebook’s Push to Become China’s WeChat May Kill it

Under the “Microsoft for Startups” initiative, startups can co-sell with Microsoft sales teams, get access to top tech VCs in the global arena and mentorship from industry veterans.

In less than 18 months, Microsoft for Startups has closed more than 120 co-sell deals with more than $126 million in active pipeline for startups.

Microsoft is focused as much on selling third party solutions as their own, and this co-sell motion has helped generate $8 billion in revenue for partners within 18 months. (IANS)